February 24 - March 2, 2010
Globe Publisher Honored by Richmond City Council
By Robert Rogers
Vernon Whitmore, publisher of the Globe, looked
on Tuesday as residents praised his work as a community leader.
When residents and city leaders spoke one by one of their
admiration for Vernon Whitmore, they didn’t talk of racy scoops
or screaming headlines.
They talked about his humble consistency. They praised his
willingness to tell not the prurient or provocative, but the
plain, positive yarns and personal stories unfolding all over
Richmond — stories that may otherwise go overlooked.
Whitmore, a longtime newspaperman and current publisher of
the Globe, said that’s the role he relishes most.
“Providing the positive news on all the good people and organizations
in the city of Richmond,” Whitmore said. “That’s what I’m most
Whitmore, 60, was honored at Tuesday’s City Council meeting
for being recently named president of the West Coast Black
Publishers Association. The association includes prominent
black press organizations in six Western states.
The council awarded Whitmore a certificate of recognition
and hailed him as an integral figure in the community, particularly
during a time when trimmed news media staffs in the Bay Area
often result in reduced coverage of smaller communities.
During a public comment period praising Whitmore, several
residents alluded to the few stories not focused on crime,
a dearth they said would be more pronounced without the Globe.
Richmond has one of the highest homicide rates in California,
a fact that some believe results in disproportionate media
coverage of local crime.
Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said the city was grateful that it
had the Globe, which she called a voice for the positive in
Richmond. [emphasis added]
Councilwoman Ludmyrna Lopez said Whitmore is “not only a publisher,
he’s a community leader.”
Resident Jackie Thompson told a little tale of her own that
she said exemplified Whitmore’s role.
It was more than two years ago, Thompson said, when a young
woman confined to a wheelchair, as the result of being struck
by an impaired driver, came to a City Council meeting to speak
about the dangers of drunk driving.
“I called Vern, and he dropped what he was doing and he came
and took her photo,” Thompson said.
Not long after, the wheelchair-bound woman died.
“But it meant so much to her,” to be featured in the Globe,
Thompson said. “(Whitmore) did an admirable thing.”
Whitmore worked at the West County Times from 1981 to 1988,
he said. Later, he worked for the Oakland Post, a paper aimed
at black readership.
Since 2004, he has been publisher of The Globe Newspaper Group.
He said his paper serves a crucial function.
“Richmond is truly a misunderstood community,” Whitmore said.
“A lot more good happens in Richmond than is portrayed in the
This article was published originally by RichmondConfidential.org.